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Child Time-Sharing Tips for Parents of Teens 

Sad boy with his parents in the background fighting.

Being a parent is one of life’s toughest jobs, particularly when your children enter their teenage years. While their primary goal is likely to be establishing independence, they still need you to provide guidance in their daily lives and a loving, supportive home. For unmarried parents and those who end up getting a divorce, creating child time-sharing plans can present additional challenges during the already turbulent teenage years. The following are 10 tips that can help you and your kids successfully adjust to the situation. 

Supporting Your Teen in an Illinois Time Sharing Plan

Legal guidelines for raising children when parents are no longer living together have changed over the last several years. Rather than simply awarding one parent primary custody while the other gets visitation, the Illinois Statutes aim more for joint parenting plans. By allocating parental responsibilities between both parties, each is encouraged to maintain an active and engaged role in the child’s life. 

These plans often take some time to adjust to, particularly for children in their teens. Steps you can take to help them through the process include: 

  • Listen to their concerns. Encourage them to ask questions, to share their feelings, and to express their concerns about the situation.  
  • Put their needs first. Make maintaining regular routines in terms of your child’s school, extracurricular activities, and social life a top priority. 
  • Give them choices. Rather than simply making decisions on their behalf, giving them choices helps them to feel more in control of their lives 
  • Be realistic with your own time. While making their needs a top priority, be realistic in your scheduling and in what you can or cannot accomplish. 
  • Be honest. Avoid trying to gloss over the situation; simply acknowledge the challenges your family faces.  
  • Keep it positive. Avoid badmouthing the other parent or oversharing personal feelings about the relationship.  
  • Give them time to adjust. Realize that they will need some time to adjust to changes that are made. Their friends often provide a valuable support system. 
  • Avoid major changes. Keep any other major life changes to a minimum if possible during this adjustment period. 
  • Get with technology. Parents.com provides a list of cell phone applications that can help everyone coordinate new child time-sharing schedules. 
  • Establish new traditions. Teenagers may scoff but secretly take comfort in family traditions. Make time for shared activities with them. 

Our Chicago Child Time Sharing Attorneys are Here to Help

At the Women’s Divorce and Family Law Group, we can guide you in creating child time-sharing plans that work for your family. Call or contact our Chicago family law attorneys online today to schedule a consultation. 


There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.